Valérie Couillard: Land rights and the forest peoples of Africa

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Day 5, Session 8: Reforming land tenure - How to ensure effective reforms and implementation …

Day 5, Session 8: Reforming land tenure - How to ensure effective reforms and implementation

Presented by Valérie Couillard, Legal and Human Rights Coordinator for Africa, Forest Peoples’ Programme

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  • 1. Land Rights Study Burundi, Cameroon, DRC, Rwanda, Uganda Research 2007-2009 (Publication June 2009) Legal developments since pre-colonial era Retraces in history the manner in which territory was acquired by the State according to international law Consequences for traditional ‘Pygmy’ forest - dwelling hunter-gatherer peoples (Batwa, Bacwa, Bambuti, Bagyeli, Baka, Ba’Aka, Baaka,...)
  • 2. Common findings Slow dispossession since pre-colonial era Displaced without compensation Landlessness Restricted or no access to ancestral lands Marginalisation Exclusion from ownership and administration of forest Acquisition processes barely available/accessible Commitments to treaties but lack of implementation Conflicting legal norms
  • 3. Key issues • Land rights are human rights • Recognition • Equality and non discrimination • Indigenous peoples and Conservation • Participation and consent (FPIC) • Right to Reparation
  • 4. Ways forward • Implementation • Reparation • Participation • Consent
  • 5. Thank you & Contact details Valérie Couillard Africa Legal and Human Rights Programme Coordinator Forest Peoples Programme 1c Fosseway Business Centre Stratford Road, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 9NQ, England Tel: +44 (0)1608 652893 Fax: +44 (0)1608 652878 Web: www.forestpeoples.org Email: valerie@forestpeoples.org